Where should I go next? (1 Viewer)

I've read...
Post Office
Women
Factotum
Hollywood
The Most Beautiful women in town
Notes from a dirty old Man
Ham On Rye
Screams from the balcony (hard to explain this one..haha)

I'd say Ham On Rye is probably the best of his novels, post office was the one I connected most to and I enjoyed all of them. I tend to enjoy it when Bukowski is some down and out loser going against the world and finding fun all the same - even if that means sitting alone in his apartment with some wine. I don't know.

I'm not really a poetry guy but I could make an exception...what do you guys think?
 

jddougher

Founding member
With Buk's books running $12-$18 a crack, I'd just work on collecting them all. The venture is finite, after all. I notice that you've got only prose on your list. Luck you: the poetry awaits.

But The Captain
ir
is a personal favorite of mine. I didn't want that one to end.
 
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mjp

Founding member
The venture is finite, after all.
Depending on your approach to the venture, I suppose. For the casual, "this wonderfully bendable, disposable copy of this great book is good enough for me" type, yeah, it's finite.

If you want more and are compelled to go deeper, it's still technically finite, but finite on a massive scale that few will ever realize. Some have tried, but no one has done it yet. No one person (or institution) has it all in one place. What other modern author can you say that about?

A dozen years ago I thought the works database here was a finite project. I was infinitely wrong about that. I just added a few titles to it this week, and I imagine I'll be adding titles to it in 2034 (though I'll be adding them more slowly, because I'll be really old).
 

jddougher

Founding member
Well, it's fun working on one's own finite collection, and the published works are a start (and collecting them all won't cost a king's ransom). After that, one is in the collector's realm, and yes, well, collectors need deep pockets.

I like the bendable books because, well, I can bend them.
 

Pogue Mahone

Officials say drugs may have played a part
Jay,
I respect your contributions to this site, but I don't think you recommending either Hollywood or Captain does those contributions justice. If you think Hollywood was his best novel, you're just fucked in the head. The entire first part is really pretty good, but he wrote it years before the film was even in production. To compare it to his other novels and say it's your favorite makes you sound like you never read the guy - poetry, short stories or novels. Pulp may not be that strong, but that's one I think Buk fans can still love because of what he was trying to do, even if he didn't quite get there. Captain is interesting from a historical view, but to call it a favorite either makes you an academic or someone who enjoys fucking dead people. Personally, I think you're done here for both bad taste and bad advice, but maybe Roni can save your ass again.
 
I always loved Hollywood. I think it's very funny and entertaining and I would guess pretty cathartic for Hank. That being said, JD is still a tremendous putz.
 
I'm not really a poetry guy but I could make an exception...what do you guys think?

The poetry is good when it's good and vice versa.

I'm always curious why people think 'Ham on Rye' is his best novel. (cue shit storm...)
 
Hollywood is one of my favourites too. It has a very different atmosphere and is much liter but has a quaint charm and a weird nostalgic sadness to a time we're all familiar with.

It's the Bukowski version of the last Rocky movie.
 
I think Ham On Rye is the furthest away from the sleazy womanizing drinker persona (which is always divisive) and being about highschool/bullying/being alone is a lot more relatable an experience.

I don't think it's so far away from Post Office or Factotum but there's actual character development in Ham on Rye.
 
My view is that he was a better poet than novelist. And better at both than painting. To be honest, if you like his novels though, you'll undoubtedly like his poems. Even if you think you don't like poetry (and I don't think any writer worth his salt can be devoid of poetry.)
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
To be honest, if you like his novels though, you'll undoubtedly like his poems. Even if you think you don't like poetry.

I agree. I never cared much for poetry before I started reading Bukowski's poetry, most of which I could easily relate to since it's often like reading short stories. It even made me read other people's poetry too.
 
I had read a bunch of poetry before discovering Buk, and I didn't care for too much of it. Nazim Hikmet, Joseph Brodsky and Yevgeny Yevtushenko being notable exceptions, along with some Ginsberg and Kerouac, but not much of it. But Buk knocked it outta the park for me. If you dig Buk, you have to read the poetry. Otherwise, it's like driving a Ferrari only in a parking lot.
 
I read all of the novels and prose before I dove into the poetry. I wasn't hugely I to poetry either, however, I'm into Bukowski so I made an exception. I think that you'll enjoy his poetry when you get to it. It's more or less similar to his prose.

For prose, try South of No North next.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
"If you dig Buk, you have to read the poetry. Otherwise, it's like driving a Ferrari only in a parking lot."

I'm stealing this one, thank you very much.
 
So I don't have to make a new thread, I'll just semi-hijack this one.

I'm also wondering where I should go next.
I've read all the novels and prose and have been working my way through the poetry collections in no particular order.
The Days Run..
Mockingbird
Burning in Water...
Love is a Dog...
War all the time
The continual condition
The flash of lightning
Slouching toward nirvana

What next?
 
Drop the posthumous books and go back to 1979 and pick up where you left off with Love is a Dog...:
Play the Piano...
Dangling in the Tournefortia
You Get so Alone...
The Roominghouse Madrigals
The Last Night of the Earth Poems

Of these, many think that The Last Night is the strongest, along with You Get so Alone... Personally, I think Roominghouse is great too; all early stuff. They're all good, of course.

Septuagenarian Stew and Betting on the Muse are mixed collections of short stories and poems.
 
Oh shit! Not those mjp. I'll pick those up as well.

That's what I was thinking, Purple. I like those older collections more so that makes sense.

Just ordered Roominghouse. I guess that's next.
 
Excellent choice; one of my favorites. Of course, it's one of those things where:

The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills
ir

Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
ir

Burning In Water Drowning In Flame
ir

Love Is A Dog From Hell
ir

Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until The Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit
ir

Dangling In The Tournefortia
ir

War All The Time
ir

You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense
ir

The Roominghouse Madrigals
ir

The Last Night Of The Earth Poems

are all in my top 3, if you follow me.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Reading the Buk bios by Sounes and Cherkovski would´nt hurt either, not to mention Calonne's and Pamela Woods Buk books.
 
Excellent choice; one of my favorites. Of course, it's one of those things where:

The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills
ir

Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
ir

Burning In Water Drowning In Flame
ir

Love Is A Dog From Hell
ir

Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until The Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit
ir

Dangling In The Tournefortia
ir

War All The Time
ir

You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense
ir

The Roominghouse Madrigals
ir

The Last Night Of The Earth Poems

are all in my top 3, if you follow me.
Totally. It's like saying that:
Post Office
Women
Ham On Rye
Factotum
is my favorite novel.
Reading the Buk bios by Sounes and Cherkovski would´nt hurt either, not to mention Calonne's and Pamela Woods Buk books.
I was thinking one of the memoirs may be in my near future. Scarlet, more than likely.
 
I have to say that his poetry is wonderful. It disgusts me, makes me laugh and shows me that not all poetry is a piece of writing that needs to be dissected and then put together again...it is what it is and it doesn't waste my time!

Get your teeth into his poetry...you won't regret it and there is so much to collect.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
as long as you really stick to the poetry published prior to his death. ;)

Let me ammend that and say if you're so inclined you can look at the original manuscriots of the poetry published post death and continue to feel the "clean hard line" that Buk is so good at.
 
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as long as you really stick to the poetry published prior to his death. ;)

Let me ammend that and say if you're so inclined you can look at the original manuscriots of the poetry published post death and continue to feel the "clean hard line" that Buk is so good at.

I'd definitely like to dive into the originals one day. I think I have a lot of ground to cover before I get there though.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
@christopher Yeah, i have a ways to go too but it's fun to "surf" the originals. I ate the post-death poetry up before I learned about the "editors fondling". There's still good stuff in there but Buk isn't good, he's great.
 
Sticking with the pre-death theme, I started The Roominghouse Madrigals today. I enjoy the foreword by Bukowski. Made me feel less guilty about not owning those early collections.
 
[...] The Roominghouse Madrigals [...]
that's a great book. I like it.
even though it recently occured to me, that even in this pre-posthumous book, there seem to be some changes. [see attachment]

still not sure, what to make off this.
I guess we'd need to systematically gather and list all the changes we find during his life-time. There seem to be much more than we expected first. Only after that, we're able to judge the different sorts of changes (post vs pre) properly.
but that's another thread (threat).

btw mjp:
the poem 'the new place' in wr #61 is a different one!
 

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mjp

Founding member
btw mjp:
the poem 'the new place' in wr #61 is a different one!
That makes sense considering the number of years between the two (and that Wormwood didn't repeat very often).

As for the changes, they are interesting. I don't know that they're as damaging as the posthumous changes, but you can see that the potential for damage is already there.
 

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